Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s aerospace company Blue Origin has conducted an “astronaut rehearsal” during the successful 15th uncrewed test flight of the company’s reusable suborbital rocket New Shepard, dubbed NS-15.
This mission, launched on Wednesday from Launch Site One in West Texas, marked a verification step prior to flying astronauts, Blue Origin said.
This is the first time, Blue Origin personnel standing in as astronauts entered the capsule prior to launch.
These astronauts conducted a series of tests from within the capsule, including a comms check with the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM), procedures for entering and exiting the capsule, and pre-launch preparations within the capsule.
Both the New Shepard capsule and its rocket landed smoothly within about 10 minutes of launch, Space.com reported.
During the flight, the capsule reached a peak altitude of 105,941 metres above ground level.
Also onboard on the flight was an instrument-laden dummy known as Mannequin Skywalker and more than 25,000 postcards from Club for the Future, the nonprofit founded by Blue Origin.
Following the crew capsule landing, the astronauts rehearsed post-flight procedures, hatch opening, and exiting the capsule.
However, it is still not clear when Blue Origin will launch the first commercial flights.